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Affordable and fun guiding throughout Northern Ireland

I had an interesting genealogy site tour with a lovely lady from America this week in search of her family roots in County Fermanagh.  Her research took us to a beautiful little church on the shores of Lower Lough Erne called Slavin Parish Church or to give it its correct name "Chapel of Ease".

Thanks to a local parishioner Florence we had the privilege of stepping inside this small 19th century church and looking over the original registers listing her 19th century relations.  This certainly was something special - thanks Florence.

Always on the lookout for local history books produced by locals I spotted a book for sale "The Slavin Poetry".  Not only does this book contain some beautiful poetry and pictures of the people involved in the church both past and present but it also highlights the life of a certain lady called KATHERINE CECILIA ELLIOTT.

Katherine, poet and the first organist in Slavin Parish Church was born in London in 1850, daughter of Architect Robert Williams Armstrong who was involved in setting up the famous Belleek Pottery in collaboration with Dublin businessman David McBirney and local landlord John Caldwell Bloomfield.

She received her early education in Castle Caldwell and later she attended Boarding Schools in France and Germany.  Returning to Bellecck she fell in love with James Elliott, a local farmer.  They were married in 1873 and set up hgme on a farm at Gortnalee.

A talented musician she became deeply involved in Slavin Parish Church and trained up a very accomplished ladies choir.

Katherine died in 1910 and she requested to be buried near the church door, where she might hear the choir sing on Sundays.

There, she lies in the churchyard where today a simple headstone marks her grave.

You could not miss this little churchyard as it sits on the roadside as you travel the A46 from Enniskillen to Belleek.  It is just before the turnoff for Rosscor Viaduct.

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Barbara Ferguson
Accredited Blue Badge Tourist Guide
Northern Ireland Guided Tours
41 Coolmillish Road
Markethill
Co. Armagh
BT60 1SH
Northern Ireland

For your answer to an experienced & fun guided tour of Northern Ireland - Barbara is here to help

+44 (0) 28 3755 1119

+44 (0) 7740 511 442

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